Stuart Appleby, an Australian native, decided to take on an interesting project: to convert a BMW E39 M5 into an ute, short for coupe utility ( wiki ). The “ute” had always been an Australian icon and it was extremely popular back in the 70s.
The project debuted nearly three years ago and it had its official debut last week in New South Wales at the Deniliquin Ute Muster. Stuart is saying that the M5’s tuned 4.9-liter V8 could make as much as 460 HP, but I’m sure the fanboys can come up with a dyno solution to increase those numbers.
On his m5ute.com website, Stuart talks a bit more in detail about this project, the initial thoughts and planning.
Years pass by, and I decide I needed to own a car for my days in Australia. I was tired of not owning a car for my summers down under. I was having a hard time deciding on what I wanted from my Aussie car and I knew that if there ever was a time follow through with my idea of a few years back, this was the time. I needed to find a suitable donor car for a start. There wasn’t many E39 M5’s laying around on the market in 2005, but the newest version was helping people move out their E39 model and change up to the V10. I mention that I’m looking for a donor car to a friend, he mentions that he’ll sell his to me, as he wanted to trade his in and wait till the V8 M3 comes out (not a bad idea). Not to mention he had the finest 2003 M5 in Australia to start with. It was more costly then the others on the market but it was 2-3 years newer then the much cheaper M5’s out there. His car had many of the tricks already installed on the car that I’d have to add later anyway, so the deal was done.
On a personal note, I really don’t know what to think of it, I keep looking and the photos and I kinda want to hate it, but I just can’t, the car has some cuteness in it and I do see why our Aussies friends would dig it. The car might turn heads in the U.S also, but it might not be in a positive way.
Thank you for the tip and the link Garry!
Also, take a look at these series of Youtube videos showing the M5 Ute[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7lgu4pmz1U[/youtube]